October 27, 2009
Dealing with digital distractions
Capt. Travis Yates
Distractions while driving are a huge issue for all drivers but for law enforcement in particular there are activities that simply must be done while driving a vehicle. Talking on a radio, looking for suspects, or reading a monitor may all be activities required of an officer sitting behind the wheel of a car.
Distractions not only take our eyes off of the road but our mind as well. The answer to this issue is to implement one- to two-second glances instead of completely taking your eyes off of the road for several seconds. If you have to read a computer terminal and are unable to stop your vehicle, read just a few words and then consciously make yourself stop and look back up at your driving environment after one to two seconds. Once you take that snapshot of the road, then read a few more words and repeat the process until you’ve completed the task. You can do this with just about any activity that is required. Yes, it will take you longer to complete some tasks but your eyes will be on the roadway.